Santa Cruz Copwatch is a group of volunteer activists dedicated to monitoring the police and protecting the rights of people in police encounters. We believe that community surveillance of police activity is itself an important act of community defense.
Copwatch volunteers attend a workshop created to quickly train the average person in basic cop watching laws, methods and safety considerations, and promote cop watching as a method of bystander intervention. In addition, all Copwatch volunteers sign our responder commitments.
Have you witnessed or experienced a disturbing encounter with Santa Cruz Police? Please fill out our online form and a Copwatch volunteer will get in touch with you.
Police can arrest someone they believe is “interfering” with their actions. Maintain a reasonable distance, and if cops threaten to arrest you, EXPLAIN THAT YOU DON’T INTEND TO INTERFERE, BUT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO OBSERVE THEIR ACTIONS.
REMEMBER: You have legal rights, but many police will not respect your rights.